Ibrahim Omar was up before sunrise on a recent Sunday, preparing for “wudu,” his first Islamic prayer of the day. He carefully washed his hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, head, ears and feet. Then he walked into his bedroom and faced to the direction of the “qiblah” in the holy city of Mecca.
Not long after his prayers, Ibrahim got dressed — long basketball shorts, a white No. 9 uniform top and a pair of Nikes — and headed to his game in the Islamic high school basketball league, which is the first organized sports league for Muslim high schools in New Jersey. It’s also a league Ibrahim, 16, helped form.